Last week I went out to have a look at some of the Macclesfield Canal’s feeder channel bridges which are currently being carefully repaired by staff from the Canal & River Trust Manchester & Pennine waterway. Dodging the rain, cow pats and mud I made my way across beautiful Cheshire farmland to take a look.
The bridges were built around 1834 by the same masons who built the locks and bridges on the main line of the canal and with the same skill, care and attention to detail. Water for the Macclefield Canal comes from Bosley Reservoir which in turn is supplied by local streams carried in feeder channels to the reservoir. The bridges provide access for the farmers in the local area.
Unfortunately some of the feeder channel bridges have suffered damage from livestock and farm vehicles over the years and are in need of repair to ensure that they do not collapse and block the vital feed of water to the reservoir and canal. These historic structures stand in fields and are rarely seen by anyone except our own staff, a few cows and the local farmer.
Their isolated location means that most of the stone has not been stolen or lost but instead, is lying in the fields ready for the bridges to be pieced back together. Heritage trained staff from the Manchester & Pennine waterway will be repairing six of the little bridges over the next couple of months which means they can be secured for the future and that the water can continue flow to the canal.
Kate Lynch, heritage adviser
The work carried out by the heritage team is extremely varied, covering all sorts of structures and a wide variety of projects. Not one week is the same and we keep learning all the time, meeting some fascinating people and visiting stunning places along the way. We are hoping that through our blogs we can share some of our passion for the amazing industrial heritage of the inland waterways.See more blogs from this author